Terms & Conditions

General Terms & Conditions for the Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road & Ferry Company Inc.


These terms and conditions set out your rights and responsibilities as a customer of the Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road & Ferry Company Inc. Your rights and responsibilities as set out in these terms and conditions. They do not affect your statutory rights.

Your particular attention is drawn to the clause “Our responsibility for loss or damage suffered by you” below.

Information about Us

We are the Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road & Ferry Company Inc. of Ferry Office, Shell Bay, Studland, Swanage, Dorset BH19 3BA. You can contact us by calling us on telephone no: 01929 450203, emailing us at: email@sandbanksferry.co.uk or by writing to us at the above address. We adhere to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Code of Practice for the construction, machinery, equipment, stability and operation of chain ferries carrying passengers and other vehicles.

If there is a problem

We aim to provide a good service to all our customers however, if you experience any difficulties or a problems during your travel with us which cannot be resolved by the Ferry staff, or if you have any comments or suggestions about the day-to-day running of our services please do not hesitate to contact us via our email address: email@sandbanksferry.co.uk.

Our Service

We always try to run a reliable service however sometimes this is not possible due to circumstances beyond our control such as severe weather conditions. However. We reserve the right to change the timetable and to stop the Ferry from running without giving notice beforehand should this be deemed necessary. We will only do this for good reason. Where possible we will display the status of the Ferry and our service on our website.

You can use our service so long as you have a valid ticket. The Ferry is at times heavily used and we cannot guarantee to carry you on a particular crossing.

We do not accept reservations or pre-bookings for journeys. The Ferry is boarded on a first come first served basis and the number of foot passengers and vehicles who can safely be transported is limited by the duty staff.

You shall not be permitted to take or attempt to take on-board any vehicle which exceeds the gross vehicle weight of 20 tons. You shall not be permitted to take or attempt to take on-board any coach/bus that is a tri-axle vehicle. We want to make sure that all your journeys are safe. You must follow instructions given by our staff at all times when embarking, disembarking or travelling on the Ferry.

At the end of each crossing all foot passengers and vehicles shall disembark first, other than staff, before anyone embarks unless otherwise instructed by Ferry staff.

All passengers must embark and disembark as directed by our staff or by notices displayed at the slipways in Poole and Studland.

Boarding the ferry whilst the prow is raised, or whilst being raised or lowered is strictly prohibited. You are required to take particular care in conditions of inclement rough or heavy weather or as advised by our staff.


For safety reasons whilst on the Ferry You must not:

  • Smoke or use an electronic cigarette (‘vape’);
  • Use bicycles, roller skates, roller blades, scooters, skateboards, hoverboards or similar equipment;
  • Take flash photographs and/or use a tripod or other camera support equipment without prior arrangement; or
  • Use emergency exits except in an emergency or when instructed to do so by our staff.

During the Crossing

Please think of others and act in a considerate and responsible manner. We respectfully ask you to:

  • Act safely and use care while embarking and disembarking;
  • Cooperate with our staff and treat them and other passengers with respect;
  • Use language that does not cause offence to others;
  • Ensure that you are the only person that can hear your music;
  • Ensure you pick up all your litter;
  • Keep your feet off the seats.

Whilst on-board the Ferry or whilst waiting to embark or disembark you are prohibited from:

  • Accessing or attempting to access restricted or private areas;
  • Begging;
  • Sounding or playing any musical instrument;
  • Vending or offering for sale any fruit, fish, vegetables, newspapers or any other things;
  • Posting or displaying any signs, posters or advertising material;
  • Obstructing or impeding access to the Ferry;
  • Sit or stand on the prows or chains or any other moving part of the Ferry or associated equipment;
  • Obstructing or impeding our staff in the execution of their duties;
  • Bet or gamble, or play any game of chance.

We reserve the right to cancel services and/or refuse travel to anyone who we believe are unfit to travel. Our decision in this regard is final.

We will not tolerate violence and aggression, verbal or physical abuse towards our staff. We reserve the right to suspend the service whilst any incidents are dealt with and, if appropriate to prosecute offenders. We reserve the right to refuse travel to anyone who conducts themselves in an aggressive or abusive manner towards our staff.

Access, Bikes, Children and Animals

The Ferry is accessible to wheelchairs and mobility scooters; unless otherwise directed by staff all wheelchairs and mobility scooters users will need to be situated in the passenger corridor for the duration of the crossing.

Bicycles, roller skates, roller blades, scooters, skateboards, hoverboards or similar equipment may be taken onboard but must be pushed or carried whilst on the Ferry.

Pushchairs can be taken onboard and wherever possible the child is to remain in the pushchair and be pushed on and off the Ferry.

Assistance will be given by our staff where possible.

Children should be properly supervised by an adult at all times.

Any domestic pets accompanying passengers are permitted to travel free of charge and must be kept on a lead. However, we reserve the right at all times to refuse to carry, or to delay the carriage, of live animals. Where any domestic pets are permitted to use the service, this is done at the risk of the owner, or if the owner is not present, at the risk of the person who brings them onboard the Ferry.

The owner or person with whom the domestic pet is travelling shall be responsible for any loss or damage caused by the animal to the Ferry, our equipment and furnishings or the person or property of other passengers and all expenses arising therefrom.


Belonging should be kept with you at all times whilst travelling on the Ferry and whilst waiting to embark and disembark.We accept no responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged belongings nor those items left unattended.

We reserve the right to refuse to allow you to take on board luggage, goods or other property which, in our reasonable opinion, is unfit or unsuitable to be carried on the Ferry for any reason at all.

Foot Passenger Tickets

Pay as You Go foot passenger tickets can be purchased at the fixed ticket machine located in front of the North Haven toll box (adjacent to the Poole side slipway), or from the North Haven toll box when open, or from staff on the ferry when boarding if neither of the preceding options are available.

You are not permitted to re-sell or attempt to re-sell a ticket.

You must have a ticket which is valid for you type of travel and it must be presented (and given up if appropriate) at the time of travel.

It is your responsibility to check the fare before you travel. Details of the applicable fares can be found at www.sandbanksferry.co.uk and on various notice boards on & around the Ferry operation.

Once a foot passenger ticket has been purchased it is valid only on the day of purchase; vehicle tickets do not have expiry dates.

You shall not wilfully damage or deface your ticket so as to render the number or any material part of it illegible. We will not be responsible for any lost, stolen or destroyed tickets and no refunds will be made in respect of these.

In the event that the service is suspended, and purchased tickets cannot be used, please approach a member of staff for a refund of the ticket purchased.

Motor Vehicles

Payment for motor vehicles travelling on the ferry will be made at the Studland toll box. This means if you are travelling from Sandbanks to Studland, you will pay your toll after you disembark. If you are travelling from Studland to Sandbanks you will pay before you embark.

Price Changes

We reserve the right to change the price of each type of journey at any time. Where possible we will ensure that any changes to toll fares are advertised before coming into effect.

Our responsibility for loss or damage suffered by you

We are responsible to you for foreseeable loss and damage caused by us. If we fail to comply with these terms, we are responsible for loss or damage you suffer that is a foreseeable result of our breaking this contract or our failing to use reasonable care and skill, but we are not responsible for any loss or damage that is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is foreseeable if either it is obvious that it will happen or if, at the time the contract was made, both we and you knew it might happen, for example, if you discussed it with us during the sales process.

We do not exclude or limit in any way our liability to you where it would be unlawful to do so. This includes liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence or the negligence of our employees, agents or subcontractors; for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; for breach of your legal rights in relation to the services.

We are not liable for business losses. We only supply the services for domestic and private use. If you use the services for any commercial, business or re-sale purpose we will have no liability to you for any loss of profit, loss of business, business interruption, or loss of business opportunity.

‘Sandbanks Ferry Ticket Card’ (SFTC)

A SFTC offers you a reduced fare for travel on the Ferry by buying tickets in bulk. For the purpose of the SFTC these will now be called PASSES and not tickets.

The SFTC passes system for the sale of passes and SFTC’s for the Ferry, together with the support and maintenance for the same, is provided by way of a contract with SportSoft UK Ltd, Sceptre House, Hornbeam Park, Harrogate, HG2 8PB. You should read Sportsoft UK Ltd’s terms and conditions carefully before you purchase a SFTC. If you have any questions about the SFTC card please contact Sportsoft UK Ltd www.sportsoft.co.uk/Contact-us.

The SFTC can be collected at our Toll Boxes located on the Studland side of the crossing.

On receipt of your SFTC you will be required to register it online using the link on the ‘DISCOUNTS’ page on our website www.sandbanksferry.co.uk before you can purchase any passes. In order to register your SFTC you will be required to complete the online registration form and to confirm your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Passes for your SFTC can be purchased at the Toll Boxes and Ferry Office both of which are located on the Studland side of the crossing, or at the blue North Haven ticket office adjacent to the slipway on the Poole side of the crossing. Payment for passes can be made by either passes/debit card or cash.

Passes can only be purchased in predetermined values equivalent to the prices of bulk tickets at the time of ordering.

Passes can also be purchased online using the link on our ‘Discounts’ page at www.sandbanksferry.co.uk using a credit/debit card.

Once this has been added to your SFTC, passes cannot be refunded either in full or in part.

Once a pass has been purchased it must and will remain allocated to the SFTC to which it has been allocated.

All SFTC’s remain our property and must not be intentionally damaged, altered or tampered with in any way. We may withdraw or cancel a SFTC at any time. We will only do this for good reason.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your SFTC is not used by another person.

If your SFTC is lost, stolen or damaged it is your responsibility to notify us as soon as possible even if you do not plan to get a replacement straight away.

We reserve the right to prevent the use of your SFTC for travel. We reserve the right to withdraw your SFTC if it is misused or if it is used in a way that is not permitted by these terms and conditions whether or not the misuse was by the registered card holder.

You must be prepared to show your SFTC whenever you are requested to do so.

Using Your SFTC

You can use your SFTC at any time to travel provided it is available, valid and has sufficient passes to cover the cost of your journey.

Passes can be purchased either online or at the Ferry Office, the maximum pass value permitted on a card is £1000.

Your SFTC must be presented at the time of travel in order for the passes to be deducted; if you do not have your SFTC you will be required to pay the standard fare.

The relevant pass for your journey will be deducted from your SFTC for each crossing.

If there are insufficient passes on your SFTC to cover your journey you must pay the full fare at the Studland side toll box or purchase more passes. The SFTC does not permit part payment or a negative balance.

It is your responsibility to check the fare before you travel.

Once passes have been purchased they are valid for two years from the date of purchase.

On presenting your SFTC for travel our staff will be able to advise as to how many passes remain on it

Lost, stolen or damaged SFTC’s

It is solely your responsibility to look after your SFTC. You must contact the Ferry Office immediately by emailing lostcard@sandbanksferry.co.uk. so that we can block your card from misuse. If you notify us out of hours, the card will be blocked from 8am the following morning.

Should your SFTC be lost, stolen or damaged you will need to contact us to arrange for a replacement Card to be issued. The issuing of a replacement Card incurs a charge. The administration charge applied will be £5.00 including VAT if outstanding passes need to be transferred to the new Card.

You will be required to return a damaged SFTC to us before a new Card can be issued.

Any passes balance on your SFTC at the time the card is blocked will be transferred to your replacement Card upon payment of the administration charge if you contact us immediately to report its loss/theft.

Additional Usage comments

You may allow somebody else to use your SFTC. However, it remains your responsibility to ensure that it is used in accordance with these terms and conditions and Sportsoft UK’s terms and conditions. We shall not be liable for anyone’s unauthorised use of your SFTC.

Data Protection

The Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road & Ferry Company Inc. is the data controller for the personal data you provide. Sportsoft UK Ltd are data processors, as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998 and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). In registering your SFTC you agree that we may process your personal information and pass your information to Sportsoft UK Limited or such other third-party provider for the provision of SFTCs that we may use from time to time.

We will use your personal data for the purpose of providing our service to you. We will contact you only in respect of customer services and administration, the provision of travel related information, customer research and fraud prevention. This will include notifying you of any major changes to the Ferry service, unless you advise us you do not wish to receive these notifications.

If you do not wish to receive notifications about Ferry Service information please either a) tick the box on the website if you would not like to receive this information or b) please email stating that you would like to be removed from our database for future information.

In certain circumstances we may also share your personal data with the Police and other law enforcement agencies for the purpose of the prevention and detection of crime

Your personal data will be properly safeguarded and processed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR.

Copyright (c) 2020 The Company. All rights reserved.